Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Summer Refresh: My House

This is the kind of summer day when I crave fried rice. It is hot, hot, hot! Or, it was before the rain. I'm indoors now and thankful for air conditioning.
Summer is my favorite season so I want to soak up every. single. drop of it. It's my time to dream big and to slow down & relax. To eat ice cream cones and visit farmers markets. Late night walks to see the fireflies. Coffee while I watch the sunrise. And hours upon hours next to the water.

I've been reading lots of good books. Many of them are from this list that I made at the beginning of the summer.
  • The One & Only--popular last summer when it came out, it's about a woman who loves college football and falls in love with the coach of her team. It's complicated because he's also the father of her best friend. I have to think every Spartan fan imagined him as Coach Dantonio and that's why the relationship was not creepy...
  • Emma: A Modern Re-Telling--Jane Austen set in the modern day by the author of The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. And guess what modern Emma's profession is??? Interior designer, of course!
  • Unbecoming--I read this book about a femme fatale named Grace who moves to Paris to escape after an art heist, immediately after seeing the new American Girl movie with my daughter (about Grace who goes to Paris for the summer and works in a patisserie). Very, very different storylines...
  • Finding Audrey--this one is a Young Adult novel, not a genre I ever read, but it was written by one of my favorite authors, Sophie Kinsella. The main story is about a girl named Audrey who has some serious social anxiety due to some kind of bullying incident. But the part that is making me LOL is the relationship between the older brother, who LOVES video games, and his crazy, anti-screen mom. That definitely hits close to home for this mom of a YouTuber who threatens weekly, if not daily, to sell every single TV and video game system and become Amish.
  • The Paris Architect--I substituted this book for the other choice in the category of "a book that my mom loved." It's set in Paris during the Holocaust and an annoying, selfish architect is the main character. He's asked to build a hiding place for a wealthy Jewish businessman. By the end of the story, he redeems himself and it was fascinating to read about the construction of the buildings (the author is an architect and historian). 
We had a yard sale. While it made me somewhat uncomfortable to be "on display" with all of our things on the lawn, I did get to meet a lot of nice people including some neighbors. And my daughter sold her Barbie houses. Alleluia!

By not having quite as much stuff in our house, I started rearranging and "refreshing" our spaces.

First up: I styled this bookcase in our living room. I started by removing everything, then started putting things back on the shelves in rainbow-color order, keeping a mix of standing and piled books. The very last thing I did was to add in the accessories. I took the dust jackets off several books. Do you do that? In the past, I've always kept them on. And the pile on the floor is a project for another day: family gallery wall, which makes the whole look a lot more messy than it feels. {This chair didn't sell in the yard sale so I added an expensive pillow, and voila! so much better.)

This is the wall where Barbie village used to live. I moved the mid-century mod cabinet here and paired it with the peacock chair and floor lamp. The Kerplunk game (the marbles for it are in the painted bucket) and the wooden puzzle (from Zimbabwe!) add a little color and fun. The beer is an Oberon by Bell's Brewery from Kalamazoo--it is the taste of summer in Michigan, in my opinion.

Since we were clearing things out we also ordered a few new pieces. New matching nightstands in the bedroom meant that this white nightstand could move into the living room and start life over as an end table. I love it because there are drawers for all of the remote controls! I added the blue shell chair from the last two spring One Room Challenge linkups next to the sofa for additional seating.

We replaced our pink Victorian-style sofa with this new piece. Its more modern look and texture fit the style of our house better. This sitting area is next to our kitchen and is where I drink my coffee and journal in the mornings. For now at least, I'm keeping that green glass vase. I set it on that table when it came back in after the yard sale, and then the look grew on me. I'm calling it a happy accident. :)

My husband found this round rug for under our dining table. I love it!

And, the biggest news of all... I'm now working locally as an interior decorator with Your Organized Space!!! I am so thrilled to be working with my friend, Erica, who is the talented professional organizer who started the business. Check out our website to read more about our services! I'm looking forward to working with clients to refresh their space! :)


  1. So happy to have you designing for clients! You are amazing!!

  2. I read half the books you listed this summer and I loved them. Unbecoming was so good I couldn't put it down and Finding Audrey had me laughing half the time when it came to the Mum and her throwing the computer out the window. Great reads.


Thanks so much for commenting! I love to read what you have to say. ~Carrie


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